Who's Watching The Watchmen?

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In October 2001, Gordon partnered with Lloyd Levin and Universal Studios, hiring David Hayter to write and direct.[78] Hayter and the producers left Universal due to creative differences,[79] and Gordon and Levin expressed interest in setting up Watchmen at Revolution Studios. The project did not hold together at Revolution Studios and subsequently fell apart.[80] In July 2004, it was announced Paramount Pictures would produce Watchmen, and they attached Darren Aronofsky to direct Hayter's script. Producers Gordon and Levin remained attached, collaborating with Aronofsky's producing partner, Eric Watson.[81] Paul Greengrass replaced Aronofsky when he left to focus on The Fountain.[82] Ultimately, Paramount placed Watchmen in turnaround.[83]

In October 2005, Gordon and Levin met with Warner Bros. to develop the film there again.[84] Impressed with Zack Snyder's work on 300, Warner Bros. approached him to direct an adaptation of Watchmen.[85] Screenwriter Alex Tse drew from his favorite elements of Hayter's script,[86] but also returned it to the original Cold War setting of the Watchmen comic. Similar to his approach to 300, Snyder used the comic book as a storyboard.[87] He has extended the fight scenes,[88] and added a subplot about energy resources to make the film more topical.[89] Although he intended to stay faithful to the look of the characters in the comic, Snyder intended Nite Owl to look scarier,[87] and made Ozymandias' armor into a parody of the rubber muscle suits from 1997's Batman & Robin.[15] After the trailer to the film premiered in July 2008, DC Comics president Paul Levitz said due to the subsequent demand for copies of Watchmen, the company has printed more than 900,000 copies of the trade collection, with the total annual print run expected to be over one million copies.[90] While 20th Century Fox filed a lawsuit to block the film's release, the studios eventually settled, and Fox received an upfront payment and a percentage of the worldwide gross from the film and all sequels and spin-offs in return.[91] The film was released to theaters in March 2009.

The Tales of the Black Freighter segments will be adapted as a direct-to-video animated feature to be released that same month.[92] Gerard Butler, who starred in 300, voices the Captain in the film.[93] The film itself is scheduled to be released on DVD four months after Tales of the Black Freighter, and Warner Bros. is speculated to be considering releasing an extended version, with the animated film edited back into the main picture.[92] Len Wein, the comic's editor, wrote a video game prequel entitled Watchmen: The End is Nigh.[94]

Dave Gibbons became an adviser on Snyder's film, but Moore has refused to have his name attached to any film adaptations of his work.[95] Moore has stated he has no interest in seeing Snyder's adaptation; he told Entertainment Weekly in 2008, "There are things that we did with Watchmen that could only work in a comic, and were indeed designed to show off things that other media can't".[96] While Moore believes that David Hayter's screenplay was "as close as I could imagine anyone getting to Watchmen," he asserted he did not intend to see the film if it were made.[97]


Interior of the movie prop "Archie", Nite Owl's vehicle. Comic-Con 2008. (Lord Jim)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Zack Snyder
Produced by Lawrence Gordon
Lloyd Levin
Deborah Snyder
Written by Screenplay:
David Hayter
Alex Tse
Comic Book:
Dave Gibbons
Alan Moore (uncredited)
Starring Malin Åkerman
Billy Crudup
Matthew Goode
Carla Gugino
Jackie Earle Haley
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Patrick Wilson
Music by Tyler Bates
Cinematography Larry Fong
Editing by William Hoy
Studio Legendary Pictures
DC Comics
Distributed by North America:
Warner Bros.
Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) Australia / New Zealand:
March 5, 2009
Ireland / UK / North America:
March 6, 2009
Running time 162 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $120 million[1]
Gross revenue $91,957,901
(as of 031309)


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